The work of Belizean journalists shone at the Caribbean Media Awards in Bridgetown Barbados on Friday night, November 7.
Channel 7’s Keith Swift won the Sagicor Award as well as a national award for ‘I Want to Go to School.’ The story, which aired on September 13 of 2007, chronicled the plight of five year old Doris Staine, a little girl born with spina bifida who wanted to go to school but couldn’t because no school would accept her because she was unable to walk freely or control her bowel movements.
In the story which was also reported in The Guardian, both Queen’s Street Baptist School and St. Luke’s Methodist School refused to accept Doris because they said they didn’t have the facilities to accommodate her.
Since the story aired, St. Luke’s accepted Doris after construction was completed on a new building with a wheelchair accessible ramp and a wheelchair friendly bathroom. Doris is in infant one at St. Luke’s Methodist.
Also from Channel 7, Jacqueline Godwin received a Certificate of Merit for her very public and acclaimed Battle of the Bulge series.
Former Channel 5 Reporter Janelle Chanona won a Certificate of Merit and the UNICEF Child Rights Award for her story on Noel Reina, a blind student at St. Joseph Primary School who is learning alongside other students with the help of a Braille machine. Chanona also won the UNI-FEM award for a story on women in politics in which she explored and questioned why women remain in the background of politics.
Both Keith Swift and Janelle Chanona accepted their awards in Barbados at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre in Bridgetown Barbados in a special ceremony on Friday night. A total of 20 awards were presented and Belize brought home three.
The Caribbean Media Awards is in its sixteenth year and are held annually and are opened to journalists in all Caribbean member countries. The awards are organized by the Pan American Health Organization.